Dr. Patrick Van Inwegen teaches courses emphasizing the international and comparative aspects of politics. His dissertation analyzed the role of nonviolent action in revolutionary situations and has spawned several articles on Velvet Revolutions. Van Inwegen's dissertation and related coursework convinced him of the need for a general textbook on revolutions; this resulted in his book Understanding Revolution (Lynne Reinner Publishers).
Van Inwegen taught and conducted research at Whitworth's Costa Rica Center during the 2012-13 academic year and he has developed a strong practical research focus on sustainability issues. As chair of the sustainability committee, he has led local discussions of creating a carbon market in Spokane, WA to encourage institutions to achieve carbon neutrality.